Avalanche Refresher

Avalanche forecaster Wendy Wagner using an extended column test to measure structure, strength and energy of a weak layer at Manitoba Mountain, Summit Lake, Alaska.

Be a good partner

Avalanche skills get rusty, no matter how much you ski. Staying current requires practice, courses and mentorship. By hiring IFMGA mountain guide Joe Stock we can customize a course to match your needs. It will be a big day of skills, full of learning and moving around in mountains. 

Suggested topics

  • Trip planning
  • Avalanche companion rescue
  • Terrain management 
  • Route finding 
  • Stability observations
  • Decision making techniques
  • Debrief, what's next?

Skill Level 

  • Previous avalanche level one required.
  • Recent avalanche companion rescue practice. We will have assessment and review before our tour. 


  • 1 client: $500 per day
  • 2 clients: $300 per person per day
  • 3 clients: $225 per person per day
  • 4+ clients: $200 per person per day. Up to ten clients. A second instructor may be added. 
  • In partnership with Alaska Alpine Adventures.
  • Click here for booking


  • AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock.  
  • Navigation, first aid and repair kits.
  • Emergency communication and shelter.

Does Not Include

  • Transport. To reduce your costs, using a rental car or your personal car is the best option. If possible, the guide will ride with you. 
  • Lodging, food and drink. See Southcentral Alaska Logistics.  
  • Personal gear. See Alaska Backcountry Ski Gear List.  
  • Rescue and trip insurance. See Booking for details. 
  • Avalanche gear:
    • Snow saw: G3 Bone Saw is Joe's choice 
    • Shovel: Black Diamond Eval Shovel is Joe's choice 
    • Beacon: Pieps DSP Sport is Joe's choice 
    • Inclinometer: phone not recommended, Brunton TruArc 15 Compass is Joe's choice. 
    • ECT cord: 3m of 2mm accessory cord with overhand knots every 10cm.
First thing is reviewing avalanche companion rescue. Here is an info sheet showing the skills Joe expects you to know by the end of the course. If you practice beforehand, then we can spend more time on other skills. 
 It all comes down to decision making in avalanche terrain. Joe will give you some specific techniques to help with decision making. 
 Practicing an extended column test.
Slope test on a small, low consequence hill.